A Dream – A Lifetime of Work

What began as a dream to build a school, clinic, and church on Lake Victoria’s Bukasa Island, has turned into a lifetime of hard work for Father Christopher Walusimbi, the builder of the stone Annunciation Orthodox Church.
“My brother,” he told me, three years ago at my youngest daughter’s wedding, “ you have put me in prison,” he said referring to his commitment to build an Orthodox community on the most pagan island in Lake Victoria.
With prayer, his community grows.  Yet despite his serious efforts at being self-sustaining by growing oranges and running a small store, as well as operating a transport service which includes emergency trips across forty miles of fierce water to a hospital on Uganda’s mainland, despite all this, he needs our help.  The boat needs repairs and the 40 horsepower outboard motor needs replacing with a new one. “Now I am borrowing someone’s engine, but they are not happy with it.”
Only recently with Father Silouan’s trip to Bukasa Island has Father Christopher obtained a smart phone, so now communication will be a lot easier. 
In the thirty years since I started that mission, Father Christopher has done a hundred times more work than I ever did—you can read all about this at my website,”tearsontheequator.com”.  If you are so moved by the sample chapters, you may purchase an e-book or paper copy of Tears On the Equator.

Orthodox Africa has committed to helping Annunciation Orthodox Church.  In addition to reading about it in the book mentioned above, more information can be found here.

Prayer and financial support will allow him to preach the Gospel and continue his works of mercy across the Lake. Keep Father Christopher and Annunciation Bukasa in your serious heartfelt prayers.
Plan a pilgrimage to Bukasa Island. The Church needs skilled workers such as carpenters, masons, and iconographers.   Most of all, such a pilgrimage requires humility so that you, the pilgrim, can acquire all the benefits of the spiritual life. You will learn much more by visiting the house which faith has built.
To donate to Annunciation Orthodox Church, visit our Donate Now! page or click here.  Clearly mark your donation “Annunciation O.C.”
~Gerasimos Kambites
The video below will give you a first hand view of this beautifully built church and Fr. Christopher.

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Ceea ce la început a fost doar un vis, acela de a construi o școală, o clinică și o biserică pe Insula Bukasa, mai târziu a devenit o lucrare de o viață, pentru Părintele Christopher Walusimbi, cel care a construit biserica din piatră, Biserica Ortodoxă Buna Vestire. Acum trei ani, la nunta fiicei mele mai mici, mi-a spus: ” Frate, m-ai aruncat într-o închisoare !”. Se referea la angajamentul pe care și-l luase de a înființa o comunitate ortodoxă pe cea mai păgână insulă a Lacului Victoria. Însă, datorită rugăciunii, comunitatea a luat amploare. Părintele Christopher face acum eforturi foarte mari pentru a se descurca. Cultivă portocale, are un mic magazin, dar se ocupă și de un serviciu de transport care include călătorii făcute în sistem de urgență, parcurgând o distanță de 40 de mile, pe ape năprasnice, spre un spital aflat pe țărmul Ugandei. Cu toate acestea, Părintele Christopher are nevoie de ajutorul nostru. Barca pe care o folosește are nevoie de foarte multe reparații, iar motorul de 40 cai-putere trebuie înlocuit cu unul nou.”În prezent,mă folosesc de un motor împrumutat, iar persoana de la care l-am împrumutat nu se arată prea mulțumită de această situație !”. Abia de curând, cu ocazia călătoriei Părintelui Silouan pe Insula Bukasa, Părintele Christopher a obținut un smartphone, astfel comunicarea devenind mai ușoară. În cei 30 de ani de când a început misiunea, Părintele Christopher a muncit de o sută de ori mai mult decât am făcut-o eu vreodată – despre toate aceste lucruri puteți să citiți pe website-ul meu  “tearsontheequator.com“, iar dacă veți fi impresionați de ceea ce citiți, puteți să cumpărați un eBook sau cartea tipărită “Tears On The Equator” (“Lacrimi la Ecuator”). Orthodox Africa (Africa Ortodoxă) și-a luat angajamentul de a sprijini Biserica Ortodoxă Buna Vestire. Mai multe detalii putând să aflați citind cartea mai sus menționată, dar căutând informații și la Missions We Serve ( Misiuni pe care le slujim ). Rugăciunile și sprijinul financiar îi vor permite Părintelui Christopher să predice Evanghelia și să continue munca de caritate pe care o face de-a lungul Lacului Victoria. Păstrați-i pe Părintele Christopher și Biserica Ortodoxă Buna Vestire în rugăciunile dumneavoastră ! Programați-vă un pelerinaj pe Insula Bukasa ! Biserica are nevoie de lucrători pricepuți ca tâmplari, zidari și iconografi. Însă cel mai important lucru pentru dumneavoastră, ca și pelerin,este să aveți umilință, prin care veți putea dobândi toate foloasele unei vieți spirituale. Veți afla însă mai multe, vizitând acest lăcaș pe care numai credința l-a construit. Pentru donații către Biserica Ortodoxă Buna Vestire ,puteți accesa pagina noastră Donate Now! ( Donați Acum!), marcând, clar, donația pe care o faceți spre “Annunciation O.C.”
 -Gerasimos Kambites
În înregistrarea video de mai sus puteți vedea această biserică, foarte frumos construită și pe Părintele Christopher

Trimis de pe iPhone‑ul meu

Orthodox Africa is starting a Newsletter!  

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Students Entertain Visitors

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During Orthodox Africa Director, Father Silouan’s visit to Bishop Athanasios Secondary School this past June, the students provided entertainment for him and other esteemed guests of whom His Grace, Bp. Athanasios Akunda, Bishop of Kisumu and all of Western Kenya was one.

 

The group was introduced by school principal, Mr. Stanley Kirui.

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16 июля, 2017

В гостях у учеников

В июне ученики средней школы имени епископа Афанасия радушно встретили уважаемых гостей, в числе которых были Преосвященнейший Владыка Афанасий Акунда, епископ Кисуму и всей Западной Африки, и директор Orthodox Africa, о. Силуан.

Группу представил директор школы, Стэнли Кируи.

Student Body Grows; Another Classroom Needed

Mr. Julius Kiprotich

This week’s feature post is a short interview with Julius Kiprotich, one of the teachers at Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen. The school is located in Nandi county, Aldai region, Mugen Zone in Mugen Village. It is ten kilometers from the main road of Kisumu –Eldoret.

We understand that Bishop Athanasius Secondary School needs another classroom. Would you please tell our readers why there is that need?

By the Grace of God, the school has been a conducive environment for learning. There is an increase enrollment of students due to the good results posted by the students in the last term examination. This has pleased many guardians, so they wish to enroll their students in this school. The number has increased so much the students have been in a temporary classroom. That is not conducive to learning and attentiveness because whenever it rains students and their work gets splashed with water because windows and door s are open. The dirt floor requires students to clean and sweep to prevent jiggers. It is a waste of study time as they are supposed to be taught and not concentrating on sweeping.

This classroom will be constructed alongside the other classroom as preferred by the architecture to ease the movement of teachers and students.

The school is for both boys and girls?

Yes, the school is for both boys and girls. The aim and objective of establishing the school was to make sure that there is an enlightenment in the society. This will only be fulfilled through education for both genders. Education has underpinned civilization and there is a need for accepting it in the society. The Board considers the school as the best place for nurturing the talents of the students and realization of the dreams, through good morals and spiritual growth.

How many graduates, if any, go on to university?

The school is privileged to have candidates this year 2017 as their first students to sit for the placement test to tertiary education. The statistics carried out recently by the teachers report that according to the performance based on the continuous assessment tests they have been doing monthly, there is probability that 80% will be able to join tertiary education through colleges and universities and the remaining 20% will join vocational/technical schools for further studies.

The competition between boys and girls is equal as both students were placed by the similar rank of class during admission.

Thank you, Mr. Kiprotich, for taking time to tell us about Bp. Athanasius Secondary School.  To read further details about the school go here .

Exam Time at St. Innocent Academy!

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St. Innocent Academy’s students are taking their end of June exams!

A challenge the Academy has had is preparing and printing sample exams.  Doing so would allow the teachers to better prepare the students on test taking skills and strategies.  Students are given knowledge through teaching in the classroom. As we all have experienced, when the time comes to take the test, the information may be slightly altered to challenge the student to think and reason out the correct answer.  Test taking is an art in which practice helps ensure success in the end.

   

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah are making a request for donations with which they will purchase at minimum one, preferably two, laptops and printer.  Teacher, Julius Kiprotich, said, “Two laptops would be ideal. It would allow me to train some of my fellow teachers to improve their typing skills, to assist in test preparation, and expose the students to the workings of a computer.”

St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah seek $700 for the purchase of one laptop and one printer.  With generous spirits, any additional funds raised will go towards the purchase of a second laptop.

To donate, please visit our donation page here.  Or visit St. Innocent Academy’s website here.

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02 июля, 2017
Экзамены в Частной школе имени св. Иннокентия
Ученики Частной школы имени св. Иннокентия сдают экзамены в конце июня!
Большою сложностью для школы является подготовка и распечатывание раздаточных материалов для экзаменов. Если бы такой проблемы не существовало, у учителей была бы возможность готовить детей к сдаче экзаменов более эффективно, вооружив их определенными навыками, необходимыми для успешного прохождения тестов. Ученики получают знания во время занятий. Всем известно, что, когда приходит время сдавать экзамен, материалы тестов конструируются таким образом, чтобы заставить учеников думать и логически обосновывать свои ответы. Прохождение тестов — целое искусство, в котором практика обеспечивает успешный конечный результат.
Частная школа имени св. Иннокентия и о. Иона просят жертвовать деньги для покупки одного, а, желательно, двух ноутбуков и принтера. Учитель Юлиус Кипротич рассказал: «Два ноутбука было бы идеально. Это дало бы возможность помочь некоторым коллегам-учителям улучшить навыки набора текста, cтало бы важным подспорьем в подготовке тестов и мы смогли бы обучать детей работать на компьютере.»
Частная школа имени св. Иннокентия и о. Иона собирают 700$ для покупки одного ноутбука и принтера. Благодаря щедрости жертвователей, все деньги, которые будут пожертвованы сверх искомой суммы, пойдут на покупку второго ноутбука.
Чтобы сделать пожертвование, пожалуйста, посетите нашу страницу пожертвований здесь.
Или посетите веб-сайт Частной школы имени св. Иннокентия здесь.

Progress at St. Innocent Academy

St. Innocent Academy has seen much progress in the last few weeks! Glory to God!

Through the hard work of many people, the concrete floors in the classrooms are complete.  Now the staffroom is under construction with concrete floors being laid also.

Our school students are studying hard.

From ages 2 to 5 years, children are taught the very basics; what their name is, writing numbers, how to correctly hold a pencil, learning the alphabet and the sounds associated with each letter and singing.

Children in lower elementary school, Standard 1 to 3, follow a curriculum called Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE).  They are taught the basics of how to read, write, memorize and dictation.

The Standard 4 and 5 students study the same subjects according to the Kenyan elementary schools, which includes English, Mathematics, Religious Studies, Social Studies and Kiswahili (also known as Swahili, the Bantu language, the first language of the Swahili people).

The Standard 4 and 5 students recently took their mid-term examinations, of which there were two.  Despite numerous challenges, they emerged among the best pupils in the zone.  Overall, they ranked 4th among the best schools. Everyone is very proud of them and their achievement. The teachers are happy for the good grades their pupils are getting because of their sacrifice and dedication to their studies.  They are pledging that at the end-of-term examination they will emerge the best through the prayers of the Patron Saint of our academy, Saint Innocent.

Please join us in that prayer!

 

Rainforest

“Quick! Bukasa Island! What comes to mind?”

Rain forest

The sound of blessed silence. Monkeys quietly chittering. Parrots cawing somewhere in a far away tree. The wind as it rustles through the trees. Holy silence. This monastic silence was quite welcome.

It gives one a deep joy to float to the middle of Lake Victoria to see, out of seemingly impenetrable rainforest, a Russian onion dome appear over the top of the trees. In this unforgiving land where there are no modern conveniences, for the last 32 years Orthodox faithful have built a church, one rock at a time. Even at times carrying those rocks on their – several kilometers – one rock at a time. This church has truly been built on the Rock of Christ as evidenced by the slow, painful obedience and faith that these Orthodox people and priest have shown as together they raise a great Light to dispell the dark cloud of animistic paganism.

This joy permeated my heart through my fever ridden time due to malaria. Though difficult, it is good to have the pride of body broken. Thanks be to God for the doctor from another island who confirmed everyone’s suspicions and recommend treatment. Thanks be to God for those who helped care for me during the time of illness. By everyone’s prayers I managed my way through Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

My time with Fr. Christopher and Matushka Maria Walusimbi, and the faithful of Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church comes to an end. It has been a blessed time. Fr. Christopher was in tears when I told him of the support and love from all of the faithful supporters of Orthodox Africa.

Let’s join these faithful people, letting them know they are not alone in their prayer and ministry on Bukasa Island, Lake Victoria, Uganda. Join me and put your hands on the lighthouse that shines a spiritual light to many generations of people who have been born under the demonic cloud of pagan darkness.

Read about Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church here. Donate to Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church here.

~Fr. Silouan

Concrete Flooring Being Installed

St. Innocent Academy’s plea for help has been answered.  Glory to God!

In the May 9, 2017 article Seven Floors for Seven Classrooms, readers learned of the need for concrete floors to prevent jigger infections in the feet of students and responded to the call.  Enough donations have been received so that concrete has been purchased and two of seven floors have been installed.

The remaining classrooms are in process of receiving concrete floors.  The anticipated completion date is the end of June.

In the mean time, students are meeting outside of the classroom while the floors are being laid.

Thank you to each person who donated to this project.  It is much appreciated!

The Globe-trotting Director

Father Silouan and the Vicar General, Fr. Barnabas, visited Saint Innocent School Wednesday, June 7, 2017.   Father Jonah said, “I am humbled and appreciate the great donations of text books and two soccer balls. We also received enough money to finish cementing the floors of the five remaining classrooms and add doors to the school. Father Silouan spoke with teachers and the Board of Management.  He was pleased to see great changes in the Centre and especially among the children! We thank His Grace for His blessings and donation towards the lunch programme for the day!”  The most important thing Father Jonah spoke of was his discovery that “when we unite together, we are able to go far!”  This, dear friends of Orthodox Africa, is the living out of our purpose and mission.  They met the owner of a playground who wants to sell it to the school ($4000). A promise was given to purchase it in the near future.

Father Silouan also presented them with some relics of Saint Gregory the Great.

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On June 1, 2017 (Thursday) Father Silouan had a wonderful afternoon with Bishop Athanasius (Akunda), his Secretary General and several other area priests at Bishop Athanasius Secondary School.  Father Silouan presented the school with $500 for textbooks.  Currently four children share one text book. More textbooks means less children need to share, allowing each child to study more easily.  He said, “On behalf of all the people served here, thank you.  May God bless your efforts.”

Alot of cheers, dance and fun in welcoming Bishop Athanasius of Kisumu at Bishop Athanasius sec school Mugen.

Posted by Amadiva Athanasios on Friday, June 9, 2017

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Father Agapios, Director of St. Tabitha House, took Father Silouan on a tour of the Kiberia slums Outside Nairobi, Kenya to visit some of the local residents and learn more about them.

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Most recently Father Silouan traveled by overnight bus to Uganda.  After being met at the bus station by Basil Walusimbi, Father Silouan met Father Christopher Walusimbi, rector of Annunciation Orthodox Church (read about the church here) in Kampala where they will be meeting His Eminence, Met. Jonah of Kampala and many other local Orthodox Christians.  Thursday he is scheduled to go to Bukasa Island. He will be spending approximately 5 days with Father Christopher and his wife, Maria, greeting parishioners, touring the island and assessing the needs of this blessed mission church.

Stay tuned for upcoming presentations about our work in Kharkov, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia!